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Should I COBRA or buy an individual dental insurance plan?

Dental Shop Staff Writer | July 10, 2019

Deciding whether to COBRA your employer's dental insurance plan or to purchase your own plan can depend on a few different things including: cost of the plans, coverage available (including if the new plan has waiting periods), the amount of benefits remaining on your current plan, whether your dentist is in-network for a new plan, and if you are actually going to use the dental plan in the 18 month window that COBRA allows you to stay on the plan.


The first thing you are going to want to think about is whether or not you think you are going to need any dental work in the 18 months that you are allowed to COBRA your employers dental insurance plan. If you are not going to use the plan (other than cleanings) then you will just want to compare the premiums on the two plans available to you, and make sure that you purchase an individual plan that covers 100% of cleanings and includes your dentist as an in-network provider. If the cost of the new plan is lower than the old plan then switching is probably a good option.


If you do have some dental work you need to get done like fillings, crowns, root canals, or dentures, then you are first going to want to verify that you still have benefits remaining on your employer's plan. When you COBRA a dental insurance plan you remain on the exact same plan you were on so if you had already maxed out your benefits then electing COBRA is probably not a very good idea because your benefits will not restart until that plan year restarts. If you have not used any of the benefits, or very little, then COBRA is generally a good option because you will not have to deal with the waiting periods that many individual and family dental insurance plans have when you first start a plan. Some plans will offer coverage with no waiting periods dental plans even for major services like root canals and crowns, however they generally will pay a lower percentage than what an employer plan would pay.


One last thing you may want to consider when deciding whether to COBRA an employer dental insurance plan has to do with the maximum annual benefit. This is the MOST that a dental insurance company will pay towards your dental work in benefit year. There are individual plans available that can have very high annual maximums, up to $6,000 per benefit year, so if you feel like you have a lot of dental work done you may want to look at buying a plan with a very high annual maximum so you can get the most savings from your dental insurance plan.


If you want help selecting the best dental insurance plan for you and your family please contact us at the Dental Insurance Shop by calling us at 855-871-2242.

Category: Individual Dental